Driving test changes could soon be introduced to cut down on young driver road deaths

Driving test changes could soon be introduced to cut down on young driver road deaths

10/31/2020

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Driving tests could also see drivers required to take control of a car in rain and on smaller rural roads before a licence can be issued. The changes were announced by Roads Minister Baroness Vere last week as proposals for a Graduated Licence Scheme were scrapped.

Driving instructors will be required to fill in a logbook when students are found to be competent in each area.

The proposals are being considered after analysis revealed younger drivers were disproportionately involved in accidents.

Young drivers are involved in 16 percent of fatal or serious accidents despite making up just seven percent of all road users.

Department for Transport data also revealed that 21 percent of car accidents involve drivers between the ages of 21 and 29.

Sue Waterfield, spokesperson for driving school, Young Driver, said that “education was the key” to ensuring road safety.

She said: “Most drivers are in agreement that something needs to be done to tackle the shockingly high accident rate for our new drivers.

“Parents were less in favour of restrictions which might prove limiting for teenagers in terms of getting to employment or travelling home safely on an evening – and that’s particularly important given the knock-on impact COVID-19 is likely to have.

“We’ve always felt education was the key – making sure our young people have plenty of time and opportunity to really get to grips with the skills and attitude they need to be a safe driver, rather than just restricting what they can do.”

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A survey from Young Driver found that more than a third of road users think learner drivers should have a compulsory extended learning period.

The survey found that one in four road users wanted to see the introduction of a more difficult driving test to ensure higher safety standards.

One in five road users said a curfew on night time driving would be effective with 21 percent backing a restriction on passenger numbers.

A total of 30 percent said they wished to see black box telematics systems made compulsory to encourage younger drivers to slow down in a bid to save money.

In an interesting move, 26 percent said they wanted to see safe and controlled ways for youngsters to get to grips with driving skills before 17.

However, this was rejected by almost a third of road users who wanted to see the minimum driving age pushed back.

Ms Waterfield said: “Twenty-nine per cent of respondents to the survey felt the age of learning to drive should be increased.

“But teens are always going to want to pass their test as quickly as possible once they’re able, whatever that age is, so it makes sense to allow them to start safely building and practicing the necessary skills from a much earlier age.”

Road users also suggested a range of unique ideas to help boost safety among younger drivers.

These included the introduction of compulsory green number plates for the first year after passing a test and banning ion car technology.

Placing a restriction on engine sizes for new road users could also be an effective way of slowing inexperienced drivers down.

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